We are a global strategic and cultural intelligence
consultancy powered entirely by meaning.
We bridge the meaning disconnect between brands/organisations and culture/society to restore value and cultural relevance, improve meaningfulness and integrity and drive meaningful growth.
We help brands and organisations adapt to the quickly changing context of the 21st century. We
work with the C-suite members looking to align their strategies, content, communication, policies and experiences with the underlying cultural principles of the world today to stay relevant and profitable.
We advise leaders on how to navigate the rapidly changing meanings in our global culture to capitalise on culture change. We explore the shifting meanings of big social concepts of our time, such as diversity, gender, identity, trust, equality, morality or post-truth to help brands and organisations culture-proof their own initiatives, contextualise how the shifts happening in culture and society affect their current brand
and business performance and discover new and previously unseen opportunities for future growth.
Meaning.Global was founded in 2017 as a direct reaction to the ongoing crisis of meaning in the
industry, caused by the unprecedented level of change and the increasing rates of global cultural
complexity and technological disruption. Our aim is to help brands and organisations understand
the destabilising foundations of the world we live in and equip leaders with the hidden knowledge
of culture to culture-proof their strategies and inform more effective brand and business decisions.
As the world changes, the traditional meanings of things we perceive as "normal" are getting eroded.
The result is that we live in a fluid world we no longer recognise and struggle to navigate effectively.
We have plenty of data, but we lack sense. We lack the anchor that would put things in perspective.
What we need isn’t more data, but more intelligence to interpret what the data means in a larger
cultural and social context. Context is where the real value is – it is not in the data, it's outside of
the data looking in. Meaning and sense are the new most valuable business currencies.
We see brands and businesses as the living dynamic ecosystems of symbolic meaning.
Brands are all about meaning. They are in the business of meaning exchange.
We don’t buy brands; we buy what brands represent. We consume their meaning.
Brand economy is the meaning economy. Brand management is meaning management.
Meaning is the inner symbolic quality of all things around us – it’s what people actually consume.
It stands at the core of all human transactions, gives brands their value and makes them profitable.
The 21st-century economy is the economy of meaning.
Brands that will be in control of their meaning will be in charge of their own future destiny.
Welcome to Meaning.Global: The Next Generation Of Strategy.
FOCUS ON LUXURY: A NEW GLOBAL INSIGHT STUDY
Helping Global Brands Navigate The Shifting Cultural
Landscape And Redefine The Future Of Luxury
The new report explores the five biggest cultural shifts redefining the global luxury market today and how luxury brands can apply them proactively to remain relevant to the new generation of luxury consumers.
The face of global luxury has changed beyond recognition. Luxury brands are facing a lot of new challenges and are struggling to accept this redefined global reality as the new normal.
Cultural irrelevance is one of the key reasons why global brands struggle to retain their value today. This is especially important for luxury and heritage brands as their value is tied to their symbolic and cultural value. When meaning structures get destabilised, brand value gets eroded which causes volatility.
All is not lost, however, but winning the cultural battle means gaining a new type of knowledge. Understanding how the cultural shifts and macro-trends affect brands and business is key for brands to remain relevant and profitable.
To help luxury brands revitalise, restore their sense of value and regain cultural relevance, we need to redefine what the very essence of luxury means to people today to match the needs and expectations of the 21st century.
THE GAP OF MEANING:
WHAT IS IT AND HOW CAN YOU OVERCOME IT?
Global brands today suffer from many ailments today, but perhaps the biggest ones have to do with the gap of meaning. The gap of meaning is a ‘symbolic trap’ that makes things look good on the surface (as a form) but doesn’t quite add up or make sense on the inside (as a substance).
Why Global Brands Fall
Into The Gap Of Meaning
Why do global brands keep falling into this symbolic trap and repeat the same mistakes over again?
The answer is simple: for their lack of symbolic coherence.
These mental disconnects can occur between meaning intended versus meaning created, between ideas versus
their form of execution or between brand values versus the real-world behaviours of brands and organisations.
There are four biggest gaps of meaning reoccurring in brands and organisations today:
The Gap of Culture (Brands and organisations versus Lack of cultural relevance & failure to resonate with society)
The Gap of Context (Brand idea and intended message versus Creative execution and lived brand experience)
The Gap of Trust (Brand image, values & ideals versus Different/opposing corporate behaviours & real-world actions)
The Gap of Social Impact (The role, purpose and identity of brands & organisations versus Not making the impact)
All these disconnects have one common denominator: the erosion of meaning.
When basic meaning structures are destabilised, it then influences the brand’s relevance, trustworthiness, ability to create long-lasting value, attachment with people and positively impact social change. To overcome these gaps, brands must become the champions of symbolic coherence and embrace their inner meaning.
This article written for Branding Strategy Insider will give you more information on how and why global brands fall into these four gaps and what the practical steps to prevent this fall and close the gap of meaning once and for all.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU CLOSE THE GAP OF MEANING
IN YOUR BRAND AND ORGANISATION:
We will help you navigate the patterns of meaning across your brand or organisation and bridge The Gap Of Culture, The Gap Of Context, The Gap Of Trust and The Gap Of Social Impact to
restore value, relevance and integrity and promote meaningfulness across your company.
We explore the shifting cultural
meanings in society to help you
understand and navigate the world
& create cultural relevance
We uncover the real meaning your
brand or organisation communicates
and align it with the intended vision
for your brand & customer experience
We instil meaning at the core of
brands and businesses to restore
value & drive meaningful growth
from the inside out
SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS
Want to help motivate, inspire and
educate your team, colleagues or
audience on the importance of
meaning for brands and business?
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MEANING IN BUSINESS?
Here is a mixture of the most recent opinion pieces, published articles, interviews, podcasts and workshops on the role and importance of meaning for brands and in business. These posts deal
with meaning from multiple perspectives: from value creation and brand growth, through creative strategy, brand campaigns, storytelling and design to shifts in culture and the need to explore how brands and technology reshape our society to humanise businesses and nudge social change.
Meet The Person Behind
Martina's thinking has been featured in:
Founder & CEO
Dr. Martina Olbertova is a leading expert on brand meaning and cultural relevance around the globe. As a writer, speaker, strategist and cultural consultant, she educates brand and business leaders on how to be culturally savvy and capitalise on culture change.
She helps brands and organisations navigate the shifting cultural meanings in the world around us to profit from culture change. She works with brands across sectors to evolve or redefine their existing meanings, restore value, increase cultural relevance and boost valuation and equity. Her goal is to help companies bridge the ‘gap of meaning’ between brands, culture and society to maximise their integrity, relevance, value and growth.
With 15 years of experience in the UK, Ireland, USA and Czechia, Martina has had a chance to work on diverse strategy, insight and innovation briefs for global brands, such as Kantar, Unilever, Vodafone, IBM, London Gatwick, British Land, ICAEW, KBC, Visa, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Ireland, J&J, Heineken or Pernod Ricard.
She holds a doctorate in Media Studies from the Charles University in Prague and also studied at Georgetown University (USA) and University of Glamorgan (UK). As a visiting lecturer, she taught Semiotics & Cultural Branding at several universities in Czechia and Trinity College Dublin and spoke at conferences in London, Paris, Manila, Toronto, Shanghai, Prague, Slovenia and Morocco.
Martina is a resident author on brand management and culture at Branding Strategy Insider, the world’s primary resource for knowledge on brand strategy, member of The Core Code, a new global think-tank humanising brands and businesses worldwide, and a fellow of the RSA.
Passionate about innovation, humanising businesses,
brand transformation, culture change, social progress, semiotics, anthropology, behavioural science and all things culture. She is based in Europe and available for strategic consulting, speaking and workshops worldwide.
Events Calendar For 2019
What They've Said
Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK
Co-founder, The Core Code
"An intellectual powerhouse."
Creator, This Human Business
"Martina is a rare person in business who is capable of seeing beyond the problems of
the moment to grasp the underlying thematic issues that have led to the development of those problems in the first place."
"An unapologetic breath of fresh air.
She is a legend or a rock star or a genius
or just a brilliant person doing great work.
Either way she's one of my favourites."
Co-founder, The Core Code
"A queen of corporate culture."
President, Golden Drum Festival
President, Abbott Research Canada
"A thought provoking clarity."
Publisher, Branding Strategy Insider
"One of the marketing leaders shaping a better world through brand."
"There are only two folks making me excited on semiotics: Robert Langdon and Martina Olbertova. Follow her, she's like the white rabbit in our era of data madness."